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Emily N. Tinney
,
Cameron R. Homeyer
,
Lexy Elizalde
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Anne M. Thompson
,
Ryan M. Stauffer
,
Holger Vömel
, and
Henry B. Selkirk

Abstract

Definition of the tropopause has remained a focus of atmospheric science since its discovery near the beginning of the twentieth century. Few universal definitions (those that can be reliably applied globally and to both common observations and numerical model output) exist and many definitions with unique limitations have been developed over the years. The most commonly used universal definition of the tropopause is the temperature lapse-rate definition established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1957 (the LRT). Despite its widespread use, there are recurrent situations where the LRT definition fails to reliably identify the tropopause. Motivated by increased availability of coincident observations of stability and composition, this study seeks to reexamine the relationship between stability and composition change in the tropopause transition layer and identify areas for improvement in a stability-based definition of the tropopause. In particular, long-term (40+ years) balloon observations of temperature, ozone, and water vapor from six locations across the globe are used to identify covariability between several metrics of atmospheric stability and composition. We found that the vertical gradient of potential temperature is a superior stability metric to identify the greatest composition change in the tropopause transition layer, which we use to propose a new universally applicable potential temperature gradient tropopause (PTGT) definition. Application of the new definition to both observations and reanalysis output reveals that the PTGT largely agrees with the LRT, but more reliably identifies tropopause-level composition change when the two definitions differ greatly.

Significance Statement

In this study we provide a review of existing tropopause definitions (and their limitations) and investigate potential improvement in the definition of the tropopause using balloon-based observations of stability and atmospheric composition. This work is motivated by the need for correct identification of the tropopause to accurately assess upper-troposphere–lower-stratosphere processes, which in turn has far-reaching implications for our understanding of Earth’s radiation budget and climate. The result of this research is the creation of a new, universally applicable stability-based definition of the tropopause: the potential temperature gradient tropopause (PTGT).

Free access
John T. Sullivan
,
Timothy Berkoff
,
Guillaume Gronoff
,
Travis Knepp
,
Margaret Pippin
,
Danette Allen
,
Laurence Twigg
,
Robert Swap
,
Maria Tzortziou
,
Anne M. Thompson
,
Ryan M. Stauffer
,
Glenn M. Wolfe
,
James Flynn
,
Sally E. Pusede
,
Laura M. Judd
,
William Moore
,
Barry D. Baker
,
Jay Al-Saadi
, and
Thomas J. McGee

Abstract

Coastal regions have historically represented a significant challenge for air quality investigations because of water–land boundary transition characteristics and a paucity of measurements available over water. Prior studies have identified the formation of high levels of ozone over water bodies, such as the Chesapeake Bay, that can potentially recirculate back over land to significantly impact populated areas. Earth-observing satellites and forecast models face challenges in capturing the coastal transition zone where small-scale meteorological dynamics are complex and large changes in pollutants can occur on very short spatial and temporal scales. An observation strategy is presented to synchronously measure pollutants “over land” and “over water” to provide a more complete picture of chemical gradients across coastal boundaries for both the needs of state and local environmental management and new remote sensing platforms. Intensive vertical profile information from ozone lidar systems and ozonesondes, obtained at two main sites, one over land and the other over water, are complemented by remote sensing and in situ observations of air quality from ground-based, airborne (both personned and unpersonned), and shipborne platforms. These observations, coupled with reliable chemical transport simulations, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Air Quality Forecast Capability (NAQFC), are expected to lead to a more fully characterized and complete land–water interaction observing system that can be used to assess future geostationary air quality instruments, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO), and current low-Earth-orbiting satellites, such as the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5-P) with its Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI).

Open access
Anne M. Thompson
,
Herman G. J. Smit
,
Jacquelyn C. Witte
,
Ryan M. Stauffer
,
Bryan J. Johnson
,
Gary Morris
,
Peter von der Gathen
,
Roeland Van Malderen
,
Jonathan Davies
,
Ankie Piters
,
Marc Allaart
,
Françoise Posny
,
Rigel Kivi
,
Patrick Cullis
,
Nguyen Thi Hoang Anh
,
Ernesto Corrales
,
Tshidi Machinini
,
Francisco R. da Silva
,
George Paiman
,
Kennedy Thiong’o
,
Zamuna Zainal
,
George B. Brothers
,
Katherine R. Wolff
,
Tatsumi Nakano
,
Rene Stübi
,
Gonzague Romanens
,
Gert J. R. Coetzee
,
Jorge A. Diaz
,
Sukarni Mitro
,
Maznorizan Mohamad
, and
Shin-Ya Ogino

Abstract

The ozonesonde is a small balloon-borne instrument that is attached to a standard radiosonde to measure profiles of ozone from the surface to 35 km with ∼100-m vertical resolution. Ozonesonde data constitute a mainstay of satellite calibration and are used for climatologies and analysis of trends, especially in the lower stratosphere where satellites are most uncertain. The electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) ozonesonde has been deployed at ∼100 stations worldwide since the 1960s, with changes over time in manufacture and procedures, including details of the cell chemical solution and data processing. As a consequence, there are biases among different stations and discontinuities in profile time series from individual site records. For 22 years the Jülich (Germany) Ozonesonde Intercomparison Experiment (JOSIE) has periodically tested ozonesondes in a simulation chamber designated the World Calibration Centre for Ozonesondes (WCCOS) by WMO. During October–November 2017 a JOSIE campaign evaluated the sondes and procedures used in Southern Hemisphere Additional Ozonesondes (SHADOZ), a 14-station sonde network operating in the tropics and subtropics. A distinctive feature of the 2017 JOSIE was that the tests were conducted by operators from eight SHADOZ stations. Experimental protocols for the SHADOZ sonde configurations, which represent most of those in use today, are described, along with preliminary results. SHADOZ stations that follow WMO-recommended protocols record total ozone within 3% of the JOSIE reference instrument. These results and prior JOSIEs demonstrate that regular testing is essential to maintain best practices in ozonesonde operations and to ensure high-quality data for the satellite and ozone assessment communities.

Full access
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
Freya Aldred
,
Nadine Gobron
,
John B. Miller
,
Kate M. Willett
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
R. P. Allan
,
John Anderson
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Argüez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
John A. Augustine
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
Aman Basu
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael G. Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Gerald Bove
,
Dennis Buechler
,
Stefan A. Buehler
,
Laura Carrea
,
Kai-Lan Chang
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
Eui-Seok Chung
,
Laura M. Ciasto
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Curt Covey
,
Thomas Cropper
,
Molly Crotwell
,
Diego Cusicanqui
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Reynald Delaloye
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff S. Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
James W. Elkins
,
Thomas W. Estilow
,
Nava Fedaeff
,
David Fereday
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
Martin Füllekrug
,
Judith Garforth
,
Jay Garg
,
Matthew Gentry
,
Steven Goodman
,
Qiqi Gou
,
Nikolay Granin
,
Mauro Guglielmin
,
Sebastian Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Brad D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
Debbie L. Hemming
,
Martin Hirschi
,
Shu-pen (Ben) Ho
,
Robert Holzworth
,
Filip Hrbáček
,
Daan Hubert
,
Petra Hulsman
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Antje Inness
,
Ketil Isaksen
,
Viju O. John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Robert Junod
,
Andreas Kääb
,
Johannes W. Kaiser
,
Viktor Kaufmann
,
Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
Richard Kidd
,
Hyungiun Kim
,
Zak Kipling
,
Akash Koppa
,
Jan Henning L’Abée-Lund
,
Xin Lan
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
David Lavers
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Diego Loyola
,
Remi Madelon
,
Hilmar J. Malmquist
,
Wlodzimierz Marszelewski
,
Michael Mayer
,
Matthew F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Annette Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
Leander Mösinger
,
Jens Mühle
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Tiina Nõges
,
Ben Noll
,
John O’Keefe
,
Tim J. Osborn
,
Taejin Park
,
Cecile Pellet
,
Maury S. Pelto
,
Sarah E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
,
Coda Phillips
,
Stephen Po-Chedley
,
Lorenzo Polvani
,
Wolfgang Preimesberger
,
Colin Price
,
Merja Pulkkanen
,
Dominik G. Rains
,
William J. Randel
,
Samuel Rémy
,
Lucrezia Ricciardulli
,
Andrew D. Richardson
,
David A. Robinson
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Nemesio J. Rodríguez-Fernández
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Chris Roth
,
Alexei Rozanov
,
This Rutishäuser
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Parnchai Sawaengphokhai
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
Robert W. Schlegel
,
Udo Schneider
,
Sapna Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
Carolina Siso
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
Brian J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
Tim H. Sparks
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Ryan Stauffer
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Andrea K. Steiner
,
Kenton Stewart
,
Pietro Stradiotti
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
Hagen Telg
,
Stephen J. Thackeray
,
Emmanuel Thibert
,
Michael Todt
,
Daisuke Tokuda
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Mendy van der Vliet
,
Guido R. van der Werf
,
Arnold. van Vliet
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Katrina Virts
,
Sebastiàn Vivero
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray H. J. Wang
,
Markus Weber
,
David Wiese
,
Jeanette D. Wild
,
Earle Williams
,
Takmeng Wong
,
R. I. Woolway
,
Xungang Yin
,
Ye Yuan
,
Lin Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
, and
Ruxandra M. Zotta
Free access
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
John B. Miller
,
Kate M. Willett
,
Nadine Gobron
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Mihai Alexe
,
Richard P. Allan
,
John Anderson
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Arguez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
John A. Augustine
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
John E. Barnes
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Dennis Buechler
,
Stefan A. Buehler
,
Diego Campos
,
Laura Carrea
,
Kai-Lan Chang
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
Eui-Seok Chung
,
Laura M. Ciasto
,
Scott Clingan
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Curt Covey
,
Jean-François Créatux
,
Theresa Crimmins
,
Thomas Cropper
,
Molly Crotwell
,
Joshua Culpepper
,
Diego Cusicanqui
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Reynald Delaloye
,
Martin T. Dokulil
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Hilary A. Dugan
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
Thomas W. Estilow
,
Nicole Estrella
,
David Fereday
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Bryan Franz
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
Martin Füllekrug
,
Judith Garforth
,
Jay Garg
,
Badin Gibbes
,
Steven Goodman
,
Atsushi Goto
,
Alexander Gruber
,
Guojun Gu
,
Sebastian Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Bradley D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
Deborah L. Hemming
,
Martin Hirschi
,
Shu-peng Ho
,
Robert Holzworth
,
Filip Hrbáček
,
Guojie Hu
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Antje Inness
,
Ketil Isaksen
,
Viju O. John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Robert Junod
,
Andreas Kääb
,
Johannes W. Kaiser
,
Viktor Kaufmann
,
Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
Richard Kidd
,
Zak Kipling
,
Akash Koppa
,
Benjamin M. Kraemer
,
Natalya Kramarova
,
Andries Kruger
,
Sofia La Fuente
,
Alo Laas
,
Xin Lan
,
Timothy Lang
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
David A. Lavers
,
Thierry Leblanc
,
Eric M. Leibensperger
,
Chris Lennard
,
Yakun Liu
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Diego Loyola
,
Stephen C. Maberly
,
Remi Madelon
,
Florence Magnin
,
Shin-Ichiro Matsuzaki
,
Linda May
,
Michael Mayer
,
Matthew F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Annette Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Michael F. Meyer
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Leander Moesinger
,
Ghislaine Monet
,
Stephan A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
Ivan Mrekaj
,
Jens Mühle
,
David Nance
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Ben Noll
,
John O’Keefe
,
Timothy J. Osborn
,
Taejin Park
,
Mark Parrington
,
Cécile Pellet
,
Mauri S. Pelto
,
Kyle Petersen
,
Coda Phillips
,
Don Pierson
,
Izidine Pinto
,
Stephen Po-Chedley
,
Paolo Pogliotti
,
Lorenzo Polvani
,
Wolfgang Preimesberger
,
Colin Price
,
Merja Pulkkanen
,
William J. Randel
,
Samuel Rémy
,
Lucrezia Ricciardulli
,
Andrew D. Richardson
,
David A. Robinson
,
Willy Rocha
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Nemesio Rodriguez-Fernandez
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Alexei Rozanov
,
Jozef Rozkošný
,
Olga O. Rusanovskaya
,
This Rutishauser
,
C. T. Sabeerali
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Parnchai Sawaengphokhai
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
Robert W. Schlegel
,
Martin Schmid
,
Udo Schneider
,
Fumi Sezaki
,
Sapna Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
Svetlana V. Shimaraeva
,
Eugene A. Silow
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
Brian J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
Tim H. Sparks
,
O.P. Sreejith
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Ryan Stauffer
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Andrea K. Steiner
,
Pietro Stradiotti
,
Dmitry A. Streletskiy
,
Divya E. Surendran
,
Stephen J. Thackeray
,
Emmanuel Thibert
,
Maxim A. Timofeyev
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Arnold J.H. van Vliet
,
Piet Verburg
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Katrina Virts
,
Sebastián Vivero
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray H. J. Wang
,
Xinyue Wang
,
Taran Warnock
,
Mark Weber
,
David N. Wiese
,
Jeannette D. Wild
,
Earle Williams
,
Takmeng Wong
,
Richard Iestyn Woolway
,
Xungang Yin
,
Zhenzhong Zeng
,
Lin Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
,
Ruxandra M. Zotta
,
Cheng-Zhi Zou
,
Jessicca Allen
,
Amy V. Camper
,
Bridgette O. Haley
,
Gregory Hammer
,
S. Elizabeth Love-Brotak
,
Laura Ohlmann
,
Lukas Noguchi
,
Deborah B. Riddle
, and
Sara W. Veasey
Open access
Tim Boyer
,
Ellen Bartow-Gillies
,
A. Abida
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Susheel Adusumilli
,
W. Agyakwah
,
Brandon Ahmasuk
,
Laura S. Aldeco
,
Mihai Alexe
,
Eric J. Alfaro
,
Richard P. Allan
,
Adam Allgood
,
Lincoln. M. Alves
,
Jorge A. Amador
,
John Anderson
,
B. Andrade
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Arguez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
C. Atkinson
,
John A. Augustine
,
Grinia Avalos
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Stacia A. Backensto
,
Stephan Bader
,
Julian Baez
,
Rebecca Baiman
,
Thomas J. Ballinger
,
Alison F. Banwell
,
M. Yu Bardin
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
John E. Barnes
,
Sandra Barreira
,
Rebecca L. Beadling
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Emily J. Becker
,
E. Bekele
,
Guillem Martín Bellido
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Rasmus Benestad
,
Christine Berne
,
Logan. T. Berner
,
Germar H. Bernhard
,
Uma S. Bhatt
,
A. E. Bhuiyan
,
Siiri Bigalke
,
Tiago Biló
,
Peter Bissolli
,
W. Bjerke Jarle
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Eric S. Blake
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Jessica Blunden
,
Oliver Bochníček
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Deniz Bozkurt
,
Brian Brettschneider
,
Francis G. Bringas
,
Francis Bringas
,
Dennis Buechler
,
Stefan A. Buehler
,
Brandon Bukunt
,
Blanca Calderón
,
Suzana J. Camargo
,
Jayaka Campbell
,
Diego Campos
,
Laura Carrea
,
Brendan R. Carter
,
Ivona Cetinić
,
Don P. Chambers
,
Duo Chan
,
Elise Chandler
,
Kai-Lan Chang
,
Hua Chen
,
Lin Chen
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Vincent Y. S. Cheng
,
Leah Chomiak
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
Eui-Seok Chung
,
Laura M. Ciasto
,
Leonardo Clarke
,
Kyle R. Clem
,
Scott Clingan
,
Caio A.S. Coelho
,
Judah L. Cohen
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Steve Colwell
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Kris Correa
,
Felipe Costa
,
Curt Covey
,
Lawrence Coy
,
Jean-François Créatux
,
Lenka Crhova
,
Theresa Crimmins
,
Meghan F. Cronin
,
Thomas Cropper
,
Molly Crotwell
,
Joshua Culpepper
,
Ana P. Cunha
,
Diego Cusicanqui
,
Rajashree T. Datta
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Veerle De Bock
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Jos De Laat
,
Bertrand Decharme
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Reynald Delaloye
,
Mesut Demircan
,
Chris Derksen
,
Ricardo Deus
,
K. R. Dhurmea
,
Howard J. Diamond
,
S. Dirkse
,
Dmitry Divine
,
Martin T. Dokulil
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Caroline Drost Jensen
,
Matthew L. Druckenmiller
,
Paula Drumond
,
Marcel du Plessis
,
Hilary A. Dugan
,
Dashkhuu Dulamsuren
,
Devon Dunmire
,
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
Mithat Ekici
,
Alesksandra Elias Chereque
,
M. ElKharrim
,
Howard E. Epstein
,
Jhan-Carlo Espinoza
,
Thomas W. Estilow
,
Nicole Estrella
,
Nicolas Fauchereau
,
Robert S. Fausto
,
Richard A. Feely
,
Chris Fenimore
,
David Fereday
,
Xavier Fettweis
,
vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Chris Fogarty
,
Ryan L. Fogt
,
Bruce C. Forbes
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Bryan A. Franz
,
Natalie M. Freeman
,
Helen A. Fricker
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
Gerald V. Frost
,
Steven Fuhrman
,
Martin Füllekrug
,
Catherine Ganter
,
Meng Gao
,
Alex S. Gardner
,
Judith Garforth
,
Jay Garg
,
Sebastian Gerland
,
Badin Gibbes
,
Sarah T. Gille
,
John Gilson
,
Karin Gleason
,
Nadine Gobron
,
Scott J. Goetz
,
Stanley B. Goldenberg
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Steven Goodman
,
Atsushi Goto
,
Jens-Uwe Grooß
,
Alexander Gruber
,
Guojun Gu
,
Charles “Chip” P. Guard
,
S. Hagos
,
Sebastian Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Bradley D. Hall
,
Benjamin D. Hamlington
,
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Abstract

—J. BLUNDEN, T. BOYER, AND E. BARTOW-GILLIES

Earth’s global climate system is vast, complex, and intricately interrelated. Many areas are influenced by global-scale phenomena, including the “triple dip” La Niña conditions that prevailed in the eastern Pacific Ocean nearly continuously from mid-2020 through all of 2022; by regional phenomena such as the positive winter and summer North Atlantic Oscillation that impacted weather in parts the Northern Hemisphere and the negative Indian Ocean dipole that impacted weather in parts of the Southern Hemisphere; and by more localized systems such as high-pressure heat domes that caused extreme heat in different areas of the world. Underlying all these natural short-term variabilities are long-term climate trends due to continuous increases since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the atmospheric concentrations of Earth’s major greenhouse gases.

In 2022, the annual global average carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere rose to 417.1±0.1 ppm, which is 50% greater than the pre-industrial level. Global mean tropospheric methane abundance was 165% higher than its pre-industrial level, and nitrous oxide was 24% higher. All three gases set new record-high atmospheric concentration levels in 2022.

Sea-surface temperature patterns in the tropical Pacific characteristic of La Niña and attendant atmospheric patterns tend to mitigate atmospheric heat gain at the global scale, but the annual global surface temperature across land and oceans was still among the six highest in records dating as far back as the mid-1800s. It was the warmest La Niña year on record. Many areas observed record or near-record heat. Europe as a whole observed its second-warmest year on record, with sixteen individual countries observing record warmth at the national scale. Records were shattered across the continent during the summer months as heatwaves plagued the region. On 18 July, 104 stations in France broke their all-time records. One day later, England recorded a temperature of 40°C for the first time ever. China experienced its second-warmest year and warmest summer on record. In the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature across New Zealand reached a record high for the second year in a row. While Australia’s annual temperature was slightly below the 1991–2020 average, Onslow Airport in Western Australia reached 50.7°C on 13 January, equaling Australia's highest temperature on record.

While fewer in number and locations than record-high temperatures, record cold was also observed during the year. Southern Africa had its coldest August on record, with minimum temperatures as much as 5°C below normal over Angola, western Zambia, and northern Namibia. Cold outbreaks in the first half of December led to many record-low daily minimum temperature records in eastern Australia.

The effects of rising temperatures and extreme heat were apparent across the Northern Hemisphere, where snow-cover extent by June 2022 was the third smallest in the 56-year record, and the seasonal duration of lake ice cover was the fourth shortest since 1980. More frequent and intense heatwaves contributed to the second-greatest average mass balance loss for Alpine glaciers around the world since the start of the record in 1970. Glaciers in the Swiss Alps lost a record 6% of their volume. In South America, the combination of drought and heat left many central Andean glaciers snow free by mid-summer in early 2022; glacial ice has a much lower albedo than snow, leading to accelerated heating of the glacier. Across the global cryosphere, permafrost temperatures continued to reach record highs at many high-latitude and mountain locations.

In the high northern latitudes, the annual surface-air temperature across the Arctic was the fifth highest in the 123-year record. The seasonal Arctic minimum sea-ice extent, typically reached in September, was the 11th-smallest in the 43-year record; however, the amount of multiyear ice—ice that survives at least one summer melt season—remaining in the Arctic continued to decline. Since 2012, the Arctic has been nearly devoid of ice more than four years old.

In Antarctica, an unusually large amount of snow and ice fell over the continent in 2022 due to several landfalling atmospheric rivers, which contributed to the highest annual surface mass balance, 15% to 16% above the 1991–2020 normal, since the start of two reanalyses records dating to 1980. It was the second-warmest year on record for all five of the long-term staffed weather stations on the Antarctic Peninsula. In East Antarctica, a heatwave event led to a new all-time record-high temperature of −9.4°C—44°C above the March average—on 18 March at Dome C. This was followed by the collapse of the critically unstable Conger Ice Shelf. More than 100 daily low sea-ice extent and sea-ice area records were set in 2022, including two new all-time annual record lows in net sea-ice extent and area in February.

Across the world’s oceans, global mean sea level was record high for the 11th consecutive year, reaching 101.2 mm above the 1993 average when satellite altimetry measurements began, an increase of 3.3±0.7 over 2021. Globally-averaged ocean heat content was also record high in 2022, while the global sea-surface temperature was the sixth highest on record, equal with 2018. Approximately 58% of the ocean surface experienced at least one marine heatwave in 2022. In the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand’s longest continuous marine heatwave was recorded.

A total of 85 named tropical storms were observed during the Northern and Southern Hemisphere storm seasons, close to the 1991–2020 average of 87. There were three Category 5 tropical cyclones across the globe—two in the western North Pacific and one in the North Atlantic. This was the fewest Category 5 storms globally since 2017. Globally, the accumulated cyclone energy was the lowest since reliable records began in 1981. Regardless, some storms caused massive damage. In the North Atlantic, Hurricane Fiona became the most intense and most destructive tropical or post-tropical cyclone in Atlantic Canada’s history, while major Hurricane Ian killed more than 100 people and became the third costliest disaster in the United States, causing damage estimated at $113 billion U.S. dollars. In the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Batsirai dropped 2044 mm of rain at Commerson Crater in Réunion. The storm also impacted Madagascar, where 121 fatalities were reported.

As is typical, some areas around the world were notably dry in 2022 and some were notably wet. In August, record high areas of land across the globe (6.2%) were experiencing extreme drought. Overall, 29% of land experienced moderate or worse categories of drought during the year. The largest drought footprint in the contiguous United States since 2012 (63%) was observed in late October. The record-breaking megadrought of central Chile continued in its 13th consecutive year, and 80-year record-low river levels in northern Argentina and Paraguay disrupted fluvial transport. In China, the Yangtze River reached record-low values. Much of equatorial eastern Africa had five consecutive below-normal rainy seasons by the end of 2022, with some areas receiving record-low precipitation totals for the year. This ongoing 2.5-year drought is the most extensive and persistent drought event in decades, and led to crop failure, millions of livestock deaths, water scarcity, and inflated prices for staple food items.

In South Asia, Pakistan received around three times its normal volume of monsoon precipitation in August, with some regions receiving up to eight times their expected monthly totals. Resulting floods affected over 30 million people, caused over 1700 fatalities, led to major crop and property losses, and was recorded as one of the world’s costliest natural disasters of all time. Near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petrópolis received 530 mm in 24 hours on 15 February, about 2.5 times the monthly February average, leading to the worst disaster in the city since 1931 with over 230 fatalities.

On 14–15 January, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcano in the South Pacific erupted multiple times. The injection of water into the atmosphere was unprecedented in both magnitude—far exceeding any previous values in the 17-year satellite record—and altitude as it penetrated into the mesosphere. The amount of water injected into the stratosphere is estimated to be 146±5 Terragrams, or ∼10% of the total amount in the stratosphere. It may take several years for the water plume to dissipate, and it is currently unknown whether this eruption will have any long-term climate effect.

Open access